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Why You Should Never Accept Free Stuff in a Virginia Premises Liability Case

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Why You Should Never Accept Free Stuff in a Virginia Premises Liability Case

Why You Should Never Accept Free Stuff in a Virginia Premises Liability Case

By Jan Hoen

Virginia property owners are required by law to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition and free of dangerous conditions, but they may fail in this duty. Their neglect contributes to Non-Fatal Injury statistics compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reveal that accidents are the primary reason people head to the emergency room every year. In 2017, slip and fall incidents were at the top of the list, many of which occurred at restaurants, shopping centers, office buildings, tourist attractions, and other locations.

If you were hurt in an accident due to hazardous conditions on property, you might be able to recover compensation for your losses under principles of premises liability. In most cases, you initiate the process by filing a claim with an insurance company. However, the property owner might approach you with an alternative to this route. You might receive an offer for something valuable, in exchange for your agreement to let the matter go. There are multiple reasons a Virginia premises liability lawyer would warn against this option, so consider some key points before you accept.

Property Owners Protect Their Own Interests

As with many legal issues and encounters, the party in charge of the premises or business is probably motivated by economic factors. The bottom line for the owner or operator is that, if you file an insurance claim, premiums will increase. To avoid paying more per month, you might hear the following as an offer after an accident on property:

  • A restaurant owner may comp your meal at a restaurant;
  • You might receive an item for free or a discount on future purchases from a retail business;
  • Your landlord might give you one month’s free rent or a reduction in your monthly fees; or,
  • Owners of a country club, golf course, water attraction, or other business might give you a day pass.

You Could be Giving Up Significant Rights

These offers might seem like an excellent bonus at the time, but the dollar value of your losses could be far more. After you have a free meal or merchandise, you could be foregoing significant rights by accepting perks. You may not fully realize your rights, and you certainly will not know the extent of your injuries until after you seek medical care. If you accept perks, you could jeopardize amounts that you might be able to receive if you went through proper legal channels. Examples include:

  • Your medical costs;
  • Lost wages for any time you cannot work because of your injuries;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Emotional anguish; and,
  • Many other types of losses.

Trust a Virginia Premises Liability Attorney to Protect Your Interests

Hopefully, this information convinces you that it is a bad idea to accept anything from a business or property owner who has shirked the legal duty to safely maintain the premises. Instead of giving up your rights, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to set up a case evaluation. A Virginia premises liability lawyer can explain your remedies in more detail after reviewing your situation.

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